By Jessica Easthope
Most people would associate regret with remorse or guilt but Leslie Davis Blackwell has transformed her regret into bravery.
“We own those signs if you will, I regret my abortion, we’re the ones that have courage to stand up and share our testimonies,” she said.
In 1983, Leslie says from the outside looking in – she was on top of the world, she was young, dating and just starting a promising career in TV, but she was also in pain, dealing with an emotional and spiritual crisis stemming from having two abortions.
According to a 2018 study by Ibis Reproductive Health many women who have had abortions feel relief but also experience sadness, regret and guilt.
“It was callous, it was scary, I just knew what I had to do, there is a sense of relief but then the problems start beginning,” said Leslie.
The picture didn’t become clear until decades later when Leslie realized her true calling wasn’t TV, but pro-life advocacy.
She had a “reversion” to her Catholic faith and went on a weekend healing retreat with Rachel’s Vineyard. That’s when the angle of her story changed, instead of using it to fight for abortions – she started to fight for the unborn.
“I know what it’s like to be on the other side, that angry, nasty, upset woman and now the peace that I have, no one can take away my story and what it did to me,” Leslie said.
For years, Leslie has been attending March for Life with Silent No More, an awareness campaign of men and women who have been affected by abortion and are no longer willing to stay silent about their regret.
Leslie says sharing her story has promoted a shift in the pro-life movement by encouraging people like her speak up and find their place in the fight for life.
“Our willingness to stand out there and be examples, we have so many people who need some healing,” she said.
Leslie said it took her 30 years to break her silence, her goal now is to help others do the same and maybe even save someone from making a decision they’ll regret.